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What’s the True Purpose of the Prefrontal Cortex?

What’s the True Purpose of the Prefrontal Cortex?

One of the most important aspects of adolescent development is what experts refer to as the "teen brain." And the big issue with the teen brain is the development of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). The question is, how exactly does this much-talked-about PFC contribute...

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The Precious Window for Teen Brain Development

The Precious Window for Teen Brain Development

When asked about teen brain development, I'm challenged to boil a huge amount of research down to a few facts. Here's how I explain it: At the onset of puberty, a child's body and brain are flooded with growth hormones. The resulting changes in the body are visible;...

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The Truth about Your Teen’s Brain

The Truth about Your Teen’s Brain

If you like to read, here's a good article from the Stanford Children's Health website about the developing teenage brain. It attempts to explain how teens eventually grow out of thinking emotionally to thinking logically. As the article says, not all teens develop...

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Does Your Child Think about the Future?

Does Your Child Think about the Future?

Driving home, I saw a young man walking on the sidewalk. Shirtless in the midday sun, he sported a tanned, muscular body. He seemed oblivious to a future consequence: excessive exposure to solar radiation (sunlight) can cause skin cancer. The sight reminded me of a...

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Teens Need Lots of Talks

Teens Need Lots of Talks

It seems like yesterday when I published Conversations with the Wise Uncle: The Secret to Being Strong as a Teenager and Preparing for Success as an Adult (First Summit, 2012). Eight years ago! It's a series of stories about a young boy named Chris and his uncle Ray,...

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Do Youth Sports Really Benefit Kids?

Do Youth Sports Really Benefit Kids?

I once had a conversation with an intelligent woman about the value of team sports. She said emphatically that the idea that team sports promoted teen development was utter nonsense (not her words) and that team sports promoted aggressiveness and generally callous...

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How to Help Your Child Become a Better Thinker

How to Help Your Child Become a Better Thinker

This weekend we're headed to Corpus Christie to celebrate our niece's wedding. Since our go-to cat sitter isn't available, we found a 15-year-old young man who wanted the job. He came to our home to be briefed, and I had a chance to talk with him. Me - "School starts...

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Growing a Stronger PFC during the Years Before Puberty

Growing a Stronger PFC during the Years Before Puberty

My book, How Your Teen Can Grow a Smarter Brain, and most of the hundreds of articles on this blog, address how to encourage, support and coach a young person during the adolescent years to wire their prefrontal cortex (PFC) for the thinking skills that they'll need...

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